Dyscalculia is not the result of poor maths teaching or of finding it hard.  It is a fundamental problem with arithmetic.  The American Psychiatric Association defines it as ‘Difficulties in production or comprehension of quantities, numerical symbols, or basic arithmetic operations that are not consistent with the person’s chronological age, educational opportunities, or intellectual abilities.’

It is thought that anywhere between 3% - 6% have dyscalculia 

A diagnosis is not currently available on the NHS and must be sought privately.  TSSA Neurodiversity Equality Reps can provide a screener (not a diagnosis).

Features of Dyscalculia


  • Creativity  
  • Strategic thinking (holistic situation thinking)                                             
  • Practical ability                                                
  • Problem solving                                                  
  • Love of words (exceptional reading and writing skills)                                                  


  • Working with money, doing expenses
  • Calculating and telling time
  • Judging speed or distance
  • Knowing numbers and words are the same (e.g. 5 and five)
  • Holding numbers in your head while solving problems

Dyscalculia -Reasonable Adjustments

Some suggestions for workplace changes are listed below

Examples of where key reasonable adjustments can be made are listed below but, this is not an exhaustive list and not everything will be applicable to everyone.

  • Voice calculator
  • Speech to text software for PC and phone
  • 24 hour clock on the desk
  • Timer
  • Workplace mentor
  • Dyscalculator app
  • Tools with pre-measured guides
  • Posters with frequently used functions
  • Additional time to complete tasks
  • Adjustments to performance reviews
  • Pre-enter numbers for speed dialling
  • Expenses app which automats from scanned receipts/invoices
  • Clear and concise instructions
  • A quiet space to work
  • Pre-enter essential numbers for speed dialling
  • Flexible working
  • Working from home
  • Desk screens to reduce noise
  • Use of headphones 

If you have any concerns or want to find out more, please contact your TSSA rep or the TSSA Helpdesk.

If you want to find out more about dyscalculia here's the best place to start.

Adult Dyscalculia

Tedx talk on dyscalculia

TSSA Helpdesk

0800 328 2673 United Kingdom

1800 805 272 Republic of Ireland

Helpdesk Enquiry Form

Member advice from our Helpdesk

If you are a TSSA member and are looking for advice or assistance in connection with your employment or membership, you can contact our Members’ Helpdesk.

We can advise on a range of workplace issues including; discipline and grievance hearing, maternity rights and redundancy.

Helpdesk opening hours: 09:00 - 17:00 Monday - Thursday  |  09:00 - 16:00 Friday

Please note: we cannot undertake to provide advice to non-members, to members of other unions, or to members on behalf of their partners/friends. If you are not yet a member, please join TSSA online.